“Blasphemy laws are not a problem” says PTI chairman Imran Khan

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Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Imran Khan during an interview with an Aljazeera host has said that that there is no point in bringing changes to the blasphemy laws. During the interview host Mehdi Hasan asked him about the controversial blasphemy laws, he responded saying, “The laws are not a problem.”

Imran Khan speaks about blasphemy laws

Imran Khan was being interviewed Mehdi Hasan for Al Jazeera English’s current affairs show, UpFront. Further explaining his stance over the draconian blasphemy laws he said the blasphemy laws are not a problem instead the problem is with “militant groups in Pakistan.”

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In reply to Mehdi Hasan’s question about repealing the blasphemy laws, which transmit death penalty to the offenders judicially or extra judicially oftentimes, he said “Extremism is not going to be fought by laws; extremism has to be fought first by disbanding those groups that are perpetuating this extremism.”

While commenting about urged amendments to the blasphemy legislation he stated, “Whatever you do with the laws, people will be killed.” His response was followed by host Mehdi Hasan’s question if he dreaded of being wiped out over speaking on the subject, he acknowledged saying: “It is true you have to tread a very thin line. Anything perceived to be… sacrilegious, yes your life is in danger… It is a very difficult subject living in Pakistan.”

Blasphemy laws have emerged as the precarious subject specially during last two decades or so. Religious minorities, including Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus and others get entangled in the blasphemy charges.

Moreover, two prominent Pakistani leaders have been gunned down over their blatant stance on the controversial legislation. In an unrelentingly conformist society, raising voice against the blasphemy laws, or calling for an amendment is paraphrased as apostasy or blasphemy which is deemed punishable by death.